Let’s take a hard look at the “Citi Premier Card.”
At the moment, it offers 60,000 ThankYou Points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
While not as good as their 80,000-point offer, it’s still decent.
And because the card actually offers value beyond the sign-up bonus, it’s always a consideration.
The one downside is Citi seems to be strict with approvals on this card. So apply if/when you’ve got solid credit scores. And limited outstanding debt.
The Citi Premier Card Comes with a Solid Sign-Up Bonus
As noted, the Citi Premier card comes with a hefty sign-up bonus.
At last glance, it’s 60,000 ThankYou Points when you spend $4k in three months.
These points are valuable, similar to Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Recently, I wrote about credit cards that allow you to transfer points to airline partners.
This can be an extremely valuable redemption option if you’re a frequent flyer. Of if you simply have a big trip in mind.
Pun aside, you can get a lot more mileage out of your points when you transfer them to air and hotel partners.
For example, you might be able to book a flight from the USA to Asia for 50,000 points.
That probably beats redeeming your points for a $500 gift card, seeing that international flights will generally run in the four-digits.
Unfortunately, only a select few credit cards allow such transfers.
But the good news is Citi Premier is one of them.
The Citi Premier Card Offers 3X on Most Purchases
- 3X on airfare and hotels
- 3X at gas stations
- 3X at restaurants AND grocery stores
- 1X elsewhere
Many of the credit cards that come with big opening bonuses tend to offer little else.
Or they charge you through the nose via a gigantic annual fee.
While Citi offers a stellar 60,000 Thank You Points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, they don’t stop there.
You also get a useful credit card with a mere $95 annual fee. Sure, a $0 annual fee would be even better.
But consider cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) or Amex Platinum ($695 annual fee). Ouch!
Those are some of the most expensive credit cards in existence. Yet they don’t offer a whole lot.
But Citi Premier does. You get a solid 3X in five different spending categories.
Those categories include airfare, gas, hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets.
Yes, that’s not a misprint. The Citi Premier card categories are pretty incredible.
For comparison, Amex Platinum merely offers 5X on flights and hotels. And there are rules and exceptions.
Citi Premier Is a Credit Card You’ll Actually Use
I have no problem opening a credit card just to earn the bonus. Then sock drawering it immediately.
But it’s nice to get the best of both worlds. And with Citi Premier, you do.
You get a solid haul via the opening bonus (especially if the annual fee is waived the first year).
And you earn 3X on most spending. I say most because most people spend the most on food and gas.
If you’re earning 3X in those core categories, chances are you’ll earn quite a bit throughout the year.
Better yet, you’ll earn without even trying.
It can be super annoying juggling a bunch of different credit cards. And trying to determine which to use when.
Citi Premier pretty much has you covered in most situations. Even if a card offers 5X, earning 3X isn’t a bad backup.
You also earn 1 ThankYou Point for every other purchase. So there is potential to earn points somewhat quickly.
However, the lack of a shopping portal, such as ShopDiscover or the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall, is a bummer. These online portals can be a great way to supplement your daily spending points.
Citi Premier Travel Partners
Assuming you do rack up some miles, you may want to transfer them to an airline partner at a 1:1 ratio, as previously mentioned.
Citi is only partnered with a bunch of international carriers. They include:
– Avianca (LifeMiles)
– Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
– EVA Air
– Etihad Guest
– Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
– Garuda Indonesia
– Malaysia Airlines
– Qatar Airways
– Singapore Airlines
– Thai Airways
– Turkish Miles & Smiles
– Virgin Atlantic
– Wyndham Rewards
– Choice Privileges
– Shop Your Way
Aside from all these travel partners, there are ways to book other airlines that are in related alliances.
So you’ve got lots of options beyond the names you see above.
And with the recent addition of JetBlue, you can now take advantage of more domestic flights with TYP transfers to airlines.
They also allow you to transfer ThankYou Points to Choice Privileges if you want to redeem for hotel stays instead.
The good news is that there is no limit to how many points you can transfer, and no fee to transfer them. But there is a minimum transfer amount of 1,000 points.
Citi Premier Card Extra Goodies
– No foreign transaction fees
– Contactless-chip enabled card
– Points don’t expire nor is earning them limited
– Citi Entertainment (access to VIP events)
– Annual fee often waived the first year
– $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit ($100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more via thankyou.com)
Tip: If you already have a Citi credit card that is part of the ThankYou Rewards program, but it isn’t eligible for transfers to airline partners, becoming a Citi ThankYou Premier cardholder will allow you to combine those points and transfer them out.
Why I Carry the Citi Premier Card in My Wallet
I applied for the Citi ThankYou Premier to pay for some of my wedding costs and easily hit the minimum spend.
It was an easy way to get 60,000 ThankYou Points while paying less than $100.
My wife also got the card, so we earned over 120k points right off the bat.
It might be enough for us to take a second honeymoon, or perhaps a babymoon in the near future.
I also love the bonus rewards categories with this card. Getting 3X on nearly all purchases is basically impossible to beat.
Sure, some cards offer 5X on certain categories. But the convenience of having 3X in so many categories on one card is awesome.
Especially for only $95 per year!
For the record, the annual fee on the Citi ThankYou Premier used to be $125, though it has since been reduced to $95.
It just so happens to match the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
To sum things up, if you’re looking to acquire airline/hotel points quickly with a small annual fee and no 5/24 restrictions, the Citi Premier Card is a winner. The many 3X categories are the cherry on top!